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MRSA is a methicillin resistant staphyococcus bacteria that can cause infections indifferent parts of the body. it is sometimes referred to as a “superbug” because antibiotics are ineffective against it. In some cases, MRSA can be life-threatening.








MRSA: What Is It?

In the United States, staph bacteria are one of the most common causes of skin infections, including:

  • boils
  • pimples
  • impetigo
  • abscesses
  • wound infections

Staph bacteria can cause infections, and the resulting conditions range from mild to life threatening. These conditions include:

  • blood poisoning)
  • pneumonia (lung infection)
  • bone infections
  • endocarditis (heart valve infection)
  • urinary tract infection ( bladder infection)
  • septic bursitis (small fluid-filled sacs under the skin)

Over 100,000 infections are diagnosed annually in the United States. About 25,000 result in death. Approximately 85-90% of all MRSA infections are can start in hospitals.

This infection is highly contagious. It can spread from person-to-person (skin-to-skin contact) and from person-to-object-to-person when an individual has active MRSA.

Skin-to-skin contact with someone carrying the infection is not necessary for infection to spread. The bacteria are also able to survive for extensive periods on surfaces and objects including door handles, floors, sinks, taps, cleaning equipment, and fabric. Those with weak immune systems such as the aged senior citizens, and young children are especially vulnerable.

According to the CDC (Centers For Disease Control), those with a weakened immune system can also include:

  • patients in hospital for a long period of time
  • people on kidney dialysis
  • patients receiving cancer treatment or any drugs that affect immune function
  • injecting illegal drugs
  • individuals who have had surgery within a year of being back in hospital


MRSA:  Symptoms

Staph skin infections, including MRSA, appear as a bump or sore area of the skin that looks like an insect bite. The infected area can be:

  • red
  • inflamed
  • painful
  • hot to the touch
  • full of pus or other liquid
  • accompanied by a fever

Serious infections can present as:

  • fever of 100.4 °F or higher
  • chills
  • dizziness
  • aches and pains of the muscles
  • swelling and tenderness in the affected body part
  • chest pains
  • cough
  • wounds that do not heal


MRSA: Treatments

Medication options to treat this infection are limited in that antibiotics were over prescribed for years. This allowed the MRSA to mutate.  But, current effective medicines are clindamycin and the tetracycline drugs. Other treatments include pus drainage, wound care and hygiene, and antimicrobial therapy in the case of cellulitis.

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